Proven Design, Excellent Value, Still looks modern
By Blockmachining on Monday, December 19, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Value, dependability, comfort"
Cons: "Watch the plastic sliding door handles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We bought the van new in April, 2002. We now have 118K miles on her. The only unscheduled problem we have had was the axle boots ripped open around 62K miles, so we replaced both axles. This repair was completely unexpected as the vehicle is always garaged and not abused. When it hit 105K, I changed the timing belt, water pump (preventive maintenance only...no issues at the time, just easy to get to while the timing belt was off), drive belts and spark plugs. She continues to run like a champ. We have the SE model which improves handling; however, you can definitely feel the bumps when you hit them. We get between 20 and 21 miles per gallon driving a 50/50 mix of highway and city driving. Right now, the only issue we have is the radio display fades in and out which is a common problem on these vehicles. There is a cheap repair where you resolder the power supply lead on a circuit board inside of the radio. Right now, it's not bad enough to mess with so we are leaving it alone. We have the captain's chairs in the middle row which is comfortable for the kids. We also have the overhead video player which the kids love. We, the grandparents, love it to. Just turn it on and the kids will not make a sound except for needed bathroom breaks and the I'm hungry, feed me calls. The van came with Goodyear tires which lasted approximately 40K miles. Then we put on a set of Yokohama Avid Touring S tires which lasted almost 65K miles. These were really quiet tires; however, the weight of the van made the tires look underinflated. We now have on General Altimax RT tires which ride and handle excellent. They also appear to support the weight of the van a little better. It's too early to tell about tread wear but right now, it looks like they will last approximately 50K miles or so. The van's sliding door handles are a weak spot when the doors are frozen. Do not use these handles to break open the frozen door. Just grab the handle, pull on it until the door lock unlatches, then grab the body of the door and pull on it to break the ice holding the door closed. The handles are only plastic and cannot handle the pressure required to break the ice. I learned this the hard way. I like the white background on the instrument cluster found in the SE vans. They look really cool during the day and are easily legible during the night. The sound system is really good for a van. The SE came with the sub speaker system which gives it a little thump! I have used nothing but synthetic oil in the engine since it was new. It will burn approximately 1 quart of oil every 5K miles. I also have my oil analyzed at Blackstone Labs every 7.5K when I do the oil change. So far, engine wear is below the average level for this engine. I attribute this to the synthetic oil usage. I don't use the high dollar Mobil 1 or other high performance synthetic oils. I just use the Walmart brand synthetic since this is not a high performance engine. I used Mobil 1 in my 90 Nissan 300ZX twin turbo because this engine was a high performance engine and was often ran very, very hard. If you use synthetic oil, you can run this oil for the full 7.5K oil change interval recommended in the owner's manual. There is no need to change it every 3K miles like the oil companies recommend. They really like to see you spend your money for their oil! I'm going to change the transmission oil filter and oil when she hits 120K just to be safe. I have not had to touch the exhaust system so far, which is almost hard to believe. The muffler still looks and sounds good and the stainless still exhaust piping should last the entire life of the van. The van has a high performing AC system and the heat is warm within just a mile or two of starting out. There a few rattles in the sliding doors and rear hatch when you hit a fairly large bump, but it's not too bad. The van is definitely past middle age, so what would you expect? I have some rattles now, too. I hope this review helps you. If you can find a good used Quest van, I'd recommend it. No, you will not get a polished van like what is produced today. But you will save approximately 30K dollars if you were to buy a new one. Good luck."
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